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Hi all!

MaroonedOnAnIsland here, for the not-exactly-Thursday Guest Post!

I originally wanted this post to focus on eyebrows. I recently found this wonderful way to use powder on your eyebrows, especially if you get oily or live in a humid area.

Instead, I will be writing a review of Haus of Gloi, for very good reason.

They have cured my KP!!

For those who don’t know, KP stands for Keratosis Pillaris, a condition of the skin that causes tiny, angry red dots, that looks like a rash. This typically presents on the back of your arms or on your upper legs. I personally have had this since about the age of 12 or 13, showing up on both my arms and upper legs.

And I have tried everything. Believe me – lotion with AHAs, AHAs on their own, BHAs, or pretty much any kind of actives, fancy lotion, cheap lotion, lotion with fun botanicals (like borage!), and many other things.

I was pretty much set in the idea that my KP wouldn’t go away. So when I purchased the Haus of Gloi lotion in Aether (their name for their unscented products), it didn’t even occur to me that this would do anything for me! Needless to say, I am very happy with this product. SO happy, in fact, that I would go as far as saying that I will probably never buy a different lotion again.

I didn’t even notice at first. When you have a skin condition for so long, you almost forget about it to the point that you don’t even look at it anymore. So it surprised me when my mother pointed out that my arms weren’t all angry anymore!

The rash is gone, the bumps are 95% gone, and it is no longer red! I AM SERIOUSLY RAVING!! This is awesome!!!

Now if only it could do something with the acne I keep getting… (Isn’t that supposed to be only for teens?!)

On another note, I also bought the hair oil from Haus of Gloi, in the Litchi Milk Tea scent. ANOTHER RAVE HERE!! I have low porosity, 2C/3A curly hair, and this stuff is amazing! Smell is great, and my hair is so soft! It hasn’t looked this pretty in a long time.

Needless to say, Haus of Gloi has my wallet. I will be repurchasing the hair oil and the lotion, many, many times.

Haus of Gloi, you done good.

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Hey, all! Destiny from Bellibone Beauty here for Guest Post Thursday! I’m so excited to be posting on Toxid Lotus, and Luna is a doll for having me.

If you know me, I’m fairly obsessed with Once Upon a Time. My tumblr feed consists of swarms of CaptainSwan gifsets and fanfics, and I have no shame. So, naturally, when indie companies release Once Upon a Time inspired products, I vacuum them up unabashedly. I’ve been rewatching the show to fill the sad void between seasons, and today I decided to share my little hoard with you! I’m swatching Darling Girl’s Fairy Tale Romance Collection and the shadows from Notoriously Morbid‘s May Vanishing Cabinet. Darling Girl has released a companion collection to Fairy Tale Romance, named Wicked is Coming, but I haven’t received my order yet. I wait impatiently.. 

Let’s dig in, shall we? All products purchased by me, and all opinions are my own. Swatches are taken over bare skin and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion on the top row, and Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy on the bottom. Italicized information is taken directly from the corresponding brand website.

02 If I Only Had a Heart

 

If I Only Had a Heart (Darling Girl): pale cream with gold sheen and gold iridescence

Inspired by the short-lived Sheriff Graham, this is a pale highlighter shade with a subtle golden iridescence. I use this as an inner corner highlight as well as a facial highlight.

03 Dearie

Dearie (Notoriously Morbid): description unavailable

Who hasn’t ever looked at Rumple’s crocodile skin and wanted an eyeshadow with that gorgeous golden glow? This is a muddied olive-brown with an antique gold shine.

04 Misthaven

Misthaven (Notoriously Morbid): description unavailable

Though it’s commonly referred to as the Enchanted Forest, the actual name of the realm is Misthaven. You only hear it called that once or twice, don’t ask me why. This is a muted forest green with a murky cornflower shift to it.

05 Hot as Baelfire

Hot as Baelfire (Darling Girl): mid tone matte plummy brown

While some may have been smitten by Charming or Graham, I was head over heels for Baelfire. Charming and sincere, and oh lordy that smile. This is a matte plummy brown, and I have no idea why I thought it would be a good idea to swatch it over Pixie Epoxy. It was a nightmare. (Mattes and glitter adhesive do not mix for obvious reasons.)

06 Always the Queen

Always the Queen (Notoriously Morbid): description unavailable

Oh, Regina. I am so often conflicted by you. At the very least, I love to hate you, and I might never trust you. This is a cranberry-toned red with a strong metallic copper shift. If you don’t apply this shadow over a glitter adhesive, you’re missing out! (Why my Pixie Epoxy swatch picture turned out so warm is beyond me..)

07 You Want Darkness

You Want Darkness? (Notoriously Morbid): description unavailable

Being so heavily influenced by fairy tales, Once Upon a Time deals with a lot of common themes, including the constant battle between your inner darkness and light. After the Season 4 finale, I am ready to embrace the dark side. This is a smokey purple with silver shimmer, and it reminds me of the purple smoke that is associated with dark magic in the show.

08 Let's Hook Up

 

Let’s Hook Up (Darling Girl): blackened green base with holographic gold sparkle and green and orange sparkle

Mm mm mm. Once Killian Jones stepped into the ring, I forgot all about Baelfire. Sultry, passionate, and surprisingly classy for a pirate. His eyebrow raises induce embarrassing amounts of squealing. This is such a perfect shadow for Hook! It’s a deep black base with gold and green sparkle. This is a crazy glittery shadow, so anyone without a glitter adhesive has now been forewarned. It gets everywhere.

That wraps up my guest post today! Thank you so much for reading, and thanks again to Luna for having me! 

 

By

Hi guys!  I’m Sarah, and I’ll be your guest writer for today. Today I’ll be sharing with you two looks!

First up is an office-safe mermaid inspired look.

Step 1: Blackbird Cosmetics “Dog Days”, medium-light matte brown, lightly blended into crease.
1bare

Step 2: Ten Three Lab’s “The Buttler”, a deeper matte brown, blended into outer V for depth. (Fun fact: I did the label art for this collection )2ttlb

Step 3: Dawn Eyes “Beloved” patted on the inner to mid lid.  There was some debate at the studio the day I wore this as to whether it leaned more green or more blue, but it’s officially described as a “tealy golden blue” on the Dawn Eyes website.  It’s a perfect mermaid color IMO!
3deb

Step 4: Add some winged liner and mascara!
5lightliner

The final look under two different lightings.

The final look under two different lightings.

The end result is a very subtle pop of color.  Just enough to liven up your eyeshadow while in situations that call for a more reserved dress code!

This second look was born out of necesity to pack light while traveling.  Samples are super convenient for travel with so I thought it’d be a good opportunity to try out 3 new samples I haven’t had the chance to wear yet!    (Please forgive the drop in photo quality for these, I left my camera at home so all I had to work with was my phone.)

The samples featured are Shiro’s “Kaepora Gaebora”, Blackbird’s “Vintage”, and Dawn Eye’s “Mantle”.
6s

Step 1: Blend “Vintage”, a mauve matte, into my crease and outer corner.
2s

Step 2: Pat “Kaepora Gaebora”, a silvery taupe, onto the inner to mid lid section.
3s

Step 3: Add “Mantle”, a deep purple-brown, to the outer V and lower lashline.  Finish up with mascara!
4s

All in all, 3 sample baggies and a mascara wand is all you need to pack for this look…. hardly a burden!

Hope you guys liked the looks!  And thanks Luna for the feature!

By

My first ever Life’s Entropy haul finally came in! I made an order during Black Friday after completely falling in love with some samples I got from an exchange.

I was busy with traveling and hadn’t noticed that my package was lost in the abyss of Canadian mail until the store owner, Jane, emailed me. She offered me the choice of either a full refund or a new package and I picked the latter of course, because I wanted my pretties and I had ordered birthday gifts for my friend! I was quite impressed that Jane took the initiative to contact me. She also offered me a discount coupon to make up for the long waiting time. So major points for customer service and you can bet I’ll be putting that coupon to good use sometime. (:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI got the foundation elixir in yellow, a few Lip Theory and Lip Theory samples, and a full-sized Big Bang Theory because it’s freaking amazing and gorgeous. The little vial is the gift with purchase, Chaos.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHere’s what the foundation elixir in yellow looks like. It’s darker than I expected. It’s a little tricky to get out of the tube. Even after shaking vigorously, it still comes out looking a little like it’s separated? However, once you mix it up, it functions just fine. I find the tube kind of a pain to use because it’s hard to control how much comes out and I ended up squeezing out a lot more than I had intended to later on.

The only foundation I’ve found that really works and stays on me is Estee Lauder’s Double Wear in 2N1 Desert Beige. Depending on the lighting, sometimes it still looks a smidge too pink on me and hence why I got the foundation elixir to try and play with!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHere’s a swatch on my arm. On the left is my usual foundation, on the right has a little bit of yellow elixir mixed in.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMy usual foundation.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWith yellow elixir.

It’s very easy to mix with your foundation and it doesn’t change the original consistency much. Although, if you’re mixing in a lot more elixir that could change it! I think it works very well to give a yellow tint that doesn’t look too sallow.

After this experiment, I’m starting to realize maybe my original foundation is just fine. Ugh, my foundation woes never end and maybe my eyes are just deluding me! I was hoping this yellow elixir would help me figure it out but now I’m realizing I maybe didn’t need it after all. I might pass it on to someone else because I find it still worked very well as intended. And now that you’ve all witnessed my foolishness when it comes to foundation, we can move on to lip swatches! Yay :d

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThis is what the little samples of the Lip Theory Satin colors look like. They’re small but have a quite good amount of lipstick to try out and I’m sure it’ll last many more uses.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Left to right: Plasma, Flux, Chaos, Apoptosis,  Nucleus, Big Bang Theory

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI really like the formula of the Lip Theory Satins! I used a lip brush to apply them. They’re really pigmented and creamy, making for a really smooth and easy application.  On my lips, Plasma and Flux seem reaaaally similar, with the latter leaning more red. I’ve seen other swatches where I think Plasma looks quite different though, so it might just be a matter of how pigmented my lips are. Although I love berry shades, I think Flux looks better on me and I quite like it.

Although the colors are really pretty, they’re also quite common colors in my opinion and I probably would not have purchased a full size. I’m glad I got to try out these samples though because they were really nice to use and very opaque.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe GWP, a limited edition Lip Theory in Chaos. It comes in a little vial with a doefoot applicator. It’s a very pretty fuschia color and the consistency is more like the usual Lip Theory rather than the Cosmos collection lipsticks. This was an awesome gift, it’s really a fabulous color and I really enjoy the Lip Theory formula so heck yes, give me more!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESApoptosis is really bright on me. While I love the color, it’s just CRAZY NEON in person and it comes off a bit more muted in this photo. I don’t know if I can quite wear it out just like that, haha.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSo I mixed it with a teensy bit of Big Bang Theory to create a more wearable yet bright color. It turned out quite lovely!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESBlurgh, you can see the area around my lips getting rather red from the constant rubbing off of lipstick. I love Nucleus, it’s really pigmented for a black lipstick and it’s just about as dark as my soul. It’s perfect. I need a full size of this for sure!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnd not to mention, it’s a lot of fun for mixing up new colors! Here’s Nucleus with BBT for a very murder-ey look. Also, I got too lazy to keep wiping lipstick off my piercing.

I really wanna get more of these just for the amazing mixing potential! I like the Lip Theories a LOT more than the OCC lip tars I have. My lip tars feather really quickly and bleed even when I have on lip liner |: And that’s never fun to deal with.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnd just for fun, here’s Placebo with Shiro Cosmetic’s Women’s Weapons. I like mixing it on my own a lot better than purchasing custom glosses from Shiro, especially since the one custom gloss I’ve tried just doesn’t last well on my lips. This stays on a lot better and doesn’t feel so slippery and awkward to work with.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMy mixing palette after all of that. SO MUCH FUN, I SWEAR.

And that concludes this guest post! Thanks a ton Luna for letting me guest post again on your pretty pretty blog!Also these emoticons are way too cute. 

If you liked this post, you can find me blogging more about makeup and posting looks at Miekeup!  Thanks for reading 

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Hi guys! I’m Emma, a new baby blogger that is slightly obsessed with indie makeup. I post semi-frequently and regularly over at In Pursuit of the Perfect Petticoat. I was super excited to be invited to guest post over here about indie cosmetics.

Since it’s January I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Color of the Year- Marsala. As pretty as the Sephora/Pantone collection is, I find that I always like the indie version better. I’ve put together a quick round-up of some of my favorite marsala-esque shades and products from indie companies. Some of the products lean more red or orange, this was intentional in order to help produce a list most people can find at least one thing that would suit their coloring. Personally, I cannot wear orange-based marsala but the red/burgundy shades look delightful on me!

First up is eyeshadow. I’m slightly apprehensive of anything remotely red near my eyes, but it looks like Pantone wants to break me of that this year

.MarsalaEyeshadow1

 

 

 

 

Left to right, top to bottom: Brazen Cosmetics “Free Spirit”, Detrivore “Apocalyptic”, Glamor Doll Eyes “Chilvarist”, Beauty for the Win “Starbucks Lovers”, Kiss my Sass “Sunburn”, Dreamworld Hermantica “Risky”, Femme Fatale “Blood Moon”, Shiro Cosmetics “Goron Ruby”, Shiro Cosmetics “What’s This Lever Do?”, Beauty for the Win “Amsterdam”, Shiro Cosmetics “Queensguard”, Shiro Cosmetics “Ziggy”

My favorites are definitely Starbucks Lovers and Blood Moon of the shadows, now if only I can get the courage up to wear them….

Next up is blush, a much more wearable approach to the marsala trend.

MarsalaBlush

 

Top to bottom, left to right: Parlo Cosmetics “Call Me Baby”, Beauty for the Win “Anne”, Silk Naturals “Galaxy”, Notoriously Morbid “Numerology”, Aromaleigh “Gaussa”, Baroque Cosmetics “I’d Hate Toulouse You”.

My favorite from this line up is definitely the Baroque shade- though I think the Aromaleigh shade provides an interesting shade.

 

 

 

This part is my favorite: lip products. I got into lipstick long before I learned the basics of eyeshadow beyond “skin tone on the lid for some shimmer” and marsala is just so wearable and approachable this way, even for those who normally shy away from red. I personally run towards red with my arms outstretched, so that last part was just a guess.

MarsalaLipsClockwise from the left: Silk Naturals “Script”, Performance Colors “Coco Loco”, Fyrinnae “Naughty or Nice”, Fierce Magenta “Brick”, Parlo Cosmetics “Token”, Limnit Lipsticks “Ms. President”.

From this set you can’t possibly expect me to pick favorites. My answer is “all of them”. Those Fierce Magenta and Silk Naturals shades will be mine, ASAP.

I’m sure I missed piles of beautiful marsala shades, so leave me a name or link in the comments so I can add more things to my ever growing wishlist! Check out my blog next week for a review and swatch post of my vaguely marsala-esque shades in my personal collection, indie and non-indie alike.

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Hello wonderful people of the interwebs! My name is Kaylee Bee, and I am this weeks guest poster. I just want to thank Luna for the opportunity to do this. I am so very excited and I hope you all enjoy!

Today I will be doing swatches and reviews of my favorite indie brand, Notoriously Morbid. When I first got into indies, about 6 months ago, this was one of the very first brands I tried. It was love at first swatch! So without further ado, I present to you some of my NM collection!

 

Captivated: A metallic olive green with copper sparkles

Captivated

over Darling Girl Primped & Primed

Captivated

bare

top (primped & primed), middle (glitter glue), bottom (pixy epoxy)

top (primped & primed), middle (glitter glue), bottom (pixy epoxy)

 

 

Swatched: Over Darling Girl Primped & Primed. There was no major change over glitter glue and pixie epoxy.

My thoughts: I adore this color to pieces. It’s definitely not one I wear to work, but it’s so much fun to put on for a day out on the weekends! I’m a sucker  for greens, especially olives, so I couldn’t resist this one.

 

 

 

 

Teacher in Tweed:  An olive brown that practically screams librarian.

over DG Primped & Primed

over DG Primped & Primed

bare

bare

 

top (primped & primed), middle (pixy epoxy), (bottom) bare

top (primped & primed), middle (pixy epoxy), (bottom) bare

Swatched: Over Primped & Primed, pixy epoxy, and bare. Being a matte texture, it does not take well over a glitter glue.

My thoughts: This is a really nice matte brown color. It’s much darker in person and looks much different depending on what base you decide to put it over, as shown here. I like that it’s so versatile, and really changes colors over primers. So experiment and find a combination you like! I personally like to pair it with pixy epoxy!

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Juju:  A warm, coraly magenta with an airy lavender duochrome.

Bad Juju

Over glitter glue

bare

bare

Bad Juju Comparison

top (primped & primed) middle (glitter glue) bottom (pixie epoxy)

 

Swatched: Over elf glitter glue. Primped & Primed (top)  and Pixy Epoxy (bottom) also shown for comparison. Glitter glue brings out the lavender duo chrome more.

My throughts: I didn’t think I’d love this color as much as I do. The shift looks a bit more blue in real life, but it’s lovely when it hits the right light. This is subtle and natural enough to wear in a work environment in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

Pale Rider: A dusty matte purple

Pale Rider Primed

over Primped & Primed

Pale Rider bare

bare

 

Pale Rider Comparison

top (primped & primed)

 

Swatched: Over Primped & Primed and bared. As with Teacher in Tweed, avoid sticky primers cause it will clump if you’re not too careful.

My thoughts: This is by far my favorite of the lot. These pictures don’t do it justice by any means. It’s hard to capture the true color of this, but it’s exactly as described with grey undertones and it is beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Crimson Horror: A gorgeous deep red with a hint of metallic and a little sparkle that is sure to get you noticed

DG Primped & Primed

over DG Primped & Primed

 

over Fyrinnae Pixy Epoxy

over Fyrinnae Pixy Epoxy

top (primped & primed), middle (glitter glue), bottom (pixy epoxy)

top (primped & primed), middle (glitter glue), bottom (pixy epoxy)

 

Swatched: Over primped and primed, glitter glue, and pixy epoxy.

 

My thoughts: So I am a HUGE red fan. Before the Venus palette (which is awesome but I don’t support Lime Crime), all my friends would make fun of me for the unusual color choice. So when I saw this color I had to have it. Plus Doctor Who. I love to wear it over Pixy Epoxy, as it really brings out the red.  I’m not sure if this is discontinued or out of stock, but as of right now I cannot find it on the site.

 

 

 

Mint To Die For: A matte mint with a tiny amount of glitter for an added twisted classic look.

over primped & primed

bare

bare

 

top (primped & primed), middle (glitter glue), (pixy epoxy)

 

 

Swatched: It shows up pretty much the same over all three primers

My thoughts: This is a really beautiful mint color. As much as I love mint, it just doesn’t work with my skin tone. However, if you can work pastels and love spring, this is definitely a color for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS LIMITED EDITION SWATCHES!

Northman from the Deadlove collection

Northman

over glitter glue

 

 Merlotte from the Deadlove collection

over glitter glue

over glitter glue

 

Carmet & Paesh the Black Friday ’14 GWP

over glitter glue

over glitter glue

 

 

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed! This was my first time swatching with tape so I hope I did it right and if you like what you see, feel free to follow me on my brand new blog! It’s still under construction but it should be up and running soon!

 

Kaylee Bee

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Hello Y’all!

Thank you to Luna of Toxid-Lotus for allowing me guest post today! I debated on what I should review and decided on items that I received from my /r/IndieMakeupandMore exchange with /u/Kitty_Party, which by the way was wicked fun and she was amazing in her generosity! Clearly from the title I am reviewing the Grisly Grimoires, 2014 Halloween collection, by Notoriously Morbid which is a company that is near and dear to my heart.

Product CollageNow I need to preface that winter has seriously come to Utah and by time I get home it is dark, so all product swatches are taken under an OtteLite (basically an overpriced daylight lamp). I also did all of these swatches over e.l.f primer.

Just another brief note, I recently received some fabulous advice from /r/photography about ‘freelensing’ and macro filters which I will be doing on all future blog posts so my swatches will be much better! YAY!   Ok enough rambling on to the products!!

This was a limited edition release of 6 full shadows, a mini blush, coffin kisser and a charm. I have to say I am pretty much in love with all of this collection and I opened them in no particular order, or did I?

Kicking off with the Coffin Kisser:

The formula of Notoriously Morbid‘s CK is well known and if you don’t know…you are missing out! This one was colorless lip balm that smells like candy to me and my unsophisticated nose (according to the site it is brandied apricot) and as expected nice and hydrating, perfect for Antarctica winter err I mean Utah winter.

Clavicule of Solomon

Clavicule of Solomon

Surprised I stared with the pink color?? No surprise here, pink colors are my jam and this beautiful pink with a fabulous purple-gold shift.  I am planning to try out a look with this and Teacher in Tweed from their Buffy inspired, Slay Me, collection.

Dragon Rouge

Dragon Rouge

I actually wore this the day after I received my exchange package. I am still in my obsession with coral shadows and this fits the bill! I wish I had snapped a FOTD, I paired this with Femme Fatale Wild Vine and a main stream brown from Tarte Cosmetics on Monday.  There is at least to my eye isn’t a full duo-chrome shift but more a lovely gold shimmer from within. I may horde this for my wedding since we are going to Hawaii and this really says beach to me!

Book of Honorius

Book of Honorius

This color is the exact reason why I need to get a macro lens. There is a great purple shift, IMO. I believe the site mentioned a red shift but it came across more purple to me.

Book of Shadows

Book of Shadows

This color is AMAZEBALLS. I know that I do not own anything like this color in my collection. I really want to just paint it all over my face so everyone can see this amazing dark purple with bright green duo-chrome.

Necronomicon

Necronomicon

This blackened purple is going to be a great lid color and I want to try it as a liner as I am working on improving my liner skills. I thought I had something similar in my collection but so far I have not found an exact dupe which of course is awesome!

Magus

Magus

Such a bright sparkling blue with a pinkish-purple shift. I think this will be so much fun during the holiday season to wear. It really makes me think of Elsa from Frozen, lol.

And the last piece ….

Grand Oracle Blush

Grand Oracle Blush

It was almost ironic that right before my package arrived I was realizing that I have about three blushes that I wear almost exclusively out of the 5 that I own. The three that I wear really are summer type blushes that worked well in the perpetual summer that is Phoenix. I was debating about adding a few winter colors to my collection and then this beauty arrived. The only down side to this blush, it is not apart of the NM core collection…hint hint Carrie ;) . This matte blush is to die for! I love me a good matte blush and the mauve color is perfect for winter and for sure is a color that I do not have and I am really glad it is now in my life :) .

Sneak Peek:

Included was a Black Friday Sneak Peek in

Nothing Is Trivial

Nothing Is Trivial

This is a shimmery silvery blue that really would make a lovely highlight shade.

 

DO NOT MISS THE BLACK FRIDAY SALE! Notoriously Morbid does a limited year long coupon among other amazing LE items. Fine them here!

Thank you again Toxid-Lotus allowing me and my humble blog come hang out for the day!

Hugs!

By

Thursday Guest Post!

Hi there!  I’m rivercitylizzy from The Nature of Beauty, here at Luna’s gracious invitation to present a guest post for your amusement.  Mahalo, Luna!

First I have a secret for you all.  Don’t be afraid, you can come closer, it’s not THAT kine secret ;) Don’t tell Luna though, I don’t wanna get thwacked…you ready?  Here it is:  eternal procrastinator that I am, I had not one word of this post planned in advance.  In fact, until I got home from work Wednesday night (a whopping 11 hours after I began) I did not even know what topic I would be writing about.  Eek.  Then I opened up the mailbox and `auwe!  What did I find but my inspiration nestled snugly between junk mail and catalogs–the fragrances from Solstice Scents I had ordered just three days prior!

The universe, she takes good care of me.

 

Solstice Scents is a perennial favorite of mine since my introduction to the brand nearly a year ago.  There are several reasons for this: their branding is consistent, appealing to me (that is, the theme is one I identify with), and professional without loosing all traces of personalization (for example, the name of the scent on each bottle/sample vial is handwritten–legibly!); their scents are hauntingly beautiful, complex (with many wonderful layers of scent to discover throughout wear time), long-lasting, and unique; their packaging for full-size fragrances is both lovely and consistently easy to use (read: reliably dispenses product); and their price point is very reasonable ($2.50 for samples–including LE!–and $9-$15 regular price full sizes…which are 10 ml).  I particularly appreciate that the price of full size perfumes at Solstice Scents appears to be based on the number and quality of the ingredients used, rather than whether a scent is “general catalog” or “special/limited edition.”

With that background in mind I will say that when Angela, the owner/perfumer, announced the coming Valentine’s Collection on the Solstice Scents blog I felt some trepidation, as she confessed “We went cherry crazy this year (which is only slightly less insane than plum crazy haha).”  Cherry notes, they are not always my friends.  So I approached this collection with a heavy dose of skepticism.  This year’s offerings to St. Valentine included 4 new scents–Black Forest, Cherry Cordial, German Chocolate Cake, and Nightgown–plus two of their GC scents that fit the V-Day mood, Cherry Vanilla Amberosia (not a typo) and Violet Truffle, offered in their popular bath/body products (Ganache, a whipped body cream, and Burnishing Glace, a sprayable “dry” body/hair oil).

I was glad to see that despite the “cherry crazy” theme, half of the new offerings did not include cherry notes at all, and one of the cherry scents seemed like it had enough friends of my skin in the notes to work.  I forged ahead and purchased full sizes of Nightgown and Black Forest and requested a sample of German Chocolate Cake as my freebie at checkout.  I placed the order on Sunday, February 26 and as stated above my package arrived on Wednesday, February 29.  That’s going from FL to CA via USPS in THREE BUSINESS DAYS.  Awesome CS, Solstice Scents has it!

Okay on to the scents:

Black Forest– In the bottle, I can pick up the dark sweet cherry notes but they are not heavy on the bitter almond (which these accords can have) and are balanced by rich and spicy woods and a peek of bright pink pepper.  On the skin, though…oh, on the skin, Black Forest epitomizes what I love most about Solstice Scents: hour after hour of delight exploring the many layers of this scent.  For me, the woods and pepper take center stage almost immediately, with just a hint of the cherries, and I’m reminded of a type of crack seed that I favor called “cake olive” (hush, you, it’s an acquired taste!).  This is followed by the tobacco and hay, roughly 1/2-1 hour later and balanced with the prior notes.  The official description mentions “a humidor housing a very fine and exceedingly dark chocolate cherry pipe tobacco” and I have to say at this stage I agree–it is gorgeous and the tobacco note in Black Forest does not turn into something nasty and unmentionable on my skin.  At last, after several hours, it settles at last into its final stage of delicious, creamy vanilla-sweet-woodsy incense.  Dead sexy.

German Chocolate Cake (sample)– On cold sniff from the vial the sweet fluffy cocoa and a mouth-watering toasty coconut are evident, with no pecans in sight (scent? hm). As it warms up on the skin, this scent blossoms, and a lovely rich chocolate-vanilla comes forward balanced nicely with sweet shredded coconut and toasted praline pecans.  Gah, this is more gorgeous than I expected, not being biased toward foodie scents.  This scent is a very limited release (one of the components was unexpectedly discontinued by the supplier), and I’m hoping I can still lay hands on a full size.  Otherwise, I shall be hoarding this little vial.

Nightgown– From the bottle I get mostly sweet creamy white florals, not much of the vanilla/white chocolate which would lend a more foodie edge to the blend.  It is not the headache-inducing, hit-you-over-the-head kine “white floral” fragrance, however, even straight out of the bottle.  On the skin this opens up into a lush and seductive blend of tropical blooms (the actual thing, which is pretty amazing to me, having smelled both tuberose and tiare in real life), vanilla (a floral sort of vanilla, rather than a buttery/sugary one), and creamy/nutty white chocolate.  This for me is a nostalgic scent, taking me back nearly 10 years to my first lessons as a hula student and invoking the heady mix of creamy sweet haupia, cocoa butter melted into sun-kissed skin, and fresh tuberose leis and tiare hairpieces warmed by the exertions of a heartfelt performance.

Sweet dreams  :HBEAT:

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So I want to kind of go into detail and elaborate on my plan for swatches and reviews. So far the feedback has been awesome and I’m excited that people would love to see an indie version of Temptalia. On that note, I won’t be swatching/reviewing foundations due to my illness and sensitive skin. Someone asked me about foundations in a facebook group and I wanted to cover that here.

I want to be able to have a complete swatch/review database if you will, at least as complete as I can. Because of that I intend to swatch/review all indie companies including those with less than stellar products and/or reputations. My question to you is, do you WANT to see swatches and reviews from companies you already know are iffy? I personally want to do it because there are a lot of people out there who know next to nothing about the companies they are buying from and I want to have a place where people can look up pretty much any current indie company and see how their customer service is and products.

Even in our own community people are less likely to give a bad review on a company or their products because so many others like them, or because it’s a new company and they don’t want to hurt them, etc. There are too many reasons. If people don’t share their experiences good AND bad, then no one has the proper information when looking at companies. I want to encourage people to share their experiences with a company when I do a review. Just because I had a good or bad experience doesn’t make it a good or bad company. The more experiences the better. :)

I obviously won’t be buying from places such as glittersniffer, but there are companies out there that may have a bad reputation from glittermobbing fans, or they started out rough, or they legitimately had awful customer service, etc. I want to review those companies and give my honest opinion and SWATCH ALL THE SHINIES. This will also help with the comparison posts I plan on doing. The more things I can swatch the more things I’ll have to be able to do comparisons!

So um. Yes the original intent of this post was to ask how you feel about seeing companies with less than stellar reputations being reviewed and swatched?

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In no particular order(and by no particular order I apparently meant alphabetical order…) I’m going to list my top ten favorite indie companies and then I’m gonna tag a few people to do the same. ;)

  1. Cocoa Pink – oh man. I fell in love with her scent fear of cemeteries. It’s amazing. She was going to drop her hallow’s eve scents and I bugged her on a few occasions to keep it. Luckily someone suggested changing the name to Dirty Carnation which she liked so yay it stays. I’m in love with her voluptuous body butter and her bubbling scrub is pretty awesome too. Her shampoo is awesome and it makes a great kitty wash. ;)
  2. Darling girl Cosmetics – Susan has a million and one shades of shadow to choose from. She has some beautiful shadow colors, but I especially like her colored lip balms and her lip scrub in a tube. If you haven’t purchased anything with the rose/passionfruit scent you’re missing out. She also has cream blushes which are awesome, especially Pink no Corisu. ;)
  3. Detrivore Cosmetics – Oh man Distorria has some gorgeous shadows. She also lives within driving distance of me so I get to pick up my packages in person. Woot! I love the theme to her shadows, I love their creepy names and they’re just beautiful. A little birdie also told me that she’ll be selling perfume oils soon too. ;) If you don’t own Omen you need to remedy that. GORGEOUS purple!
  4. Evil Shades Cosmetics – oh man. She has beautiful lippies and shadows and everything. She made a shadow after me called Toxic Lotus, it’s gorgeous, you should get it along with Eplefe and um all of her other shadows. If you like pink lipstick you have to get Fearless, it’s freaking amazing, and Deception? Perfect freaking nude. I want all of her lippies and shadows and blushes, and okay pretty much everything she sells. Her spectrum pots and primer have been the longest lasting eye primers as well. Check them out. ;) Also drooling over her holiday shades!
  5. innocent+twisted alchemy – Gosh these colors are beautiful. They remind me of the old Aromaleigh formulas. They’re just shiny and complex and pretty. She offers sample pods/clamshells and she fills them to the brim, she’s also a sweetheart and does all the art for her company. She’s very talented. Twisted is one of the most amazing colors ever, and I love Innocent as well, I love all of her shades and can’t wait to get my claws on her holiday set.
  6. Linnaeus Cosmetics – Okay so Marin is possibly the sweetest, cutest, quirkiest creeper in the universe. I loves her. Her shadows are rich and beautiful and the formulas are like butter. They’re just wonderful. Plus she was super awesome and made the Axolotl collection for me! *squee* There are no duochromes but her shadows have beautiful sparks of color and look complex. She’s definitely a keeper. Can’t wait for her shop to open back up at the beginning of the year.
  7. Morgana Cryptoria – Oh jeez what can I say, I need one of everything please. She has gorgeous, amazing lippies. I have a few of her balms that are rich and amazing, I’m sad to see them go, but the new glosses and gels look pretty awesome, and she did turn some of the balm colors into glosses. Hooray for diabolical druscilla! I have Azalea and Azalea blue in cute little flower pots that Amanda from Karmic Dreaming sold me during a blog sale. Love them. I currently have an order from her and am trying to patiently wait until Wednesday so I can pay for it. Can’t wait to have more of her lippies!
  8. My Pretty Zombie – Seriously Andrea is a goth Mary Poppins. I kid you not. She’s tied with Marin for cutest, sweetest, quirkiest, most awesomely nice person ever. She’s genuinely nice and aims to please and has the best customer service. Besides her being awesome, she makes amazing shadows, if you want duochromes check her out, because she has some sort of magic touch for duo’s. Kid you not. mNg trio, Husbandry Afflictions collection, monstrous industry, illustrated ink, there are so many pretties it’s hard to choose. PLUS she makes zombie barbies. When I first shopped with her the barbies gave me the creeps, it was mostly the blood painted on, I don’t do well with blood, but now I kinda like them, and kinda want one. She did trade me a zombified barbie hand pendant for a scarf(I’m still making the scarf. >.> ). So check her out cause if you like creepy you’ll like MPZ. Also don’t pass up Unicorn Pee or her MDMA blush of freaking awesome sauce.
  9. One Hand Washes the Other – Becca is a crazy, blunt, firey witch troll that stands over her giant cauldron making black magic soap of amaze. Seriously that stuff is magic. She was also awesome enough to make a glycerin free formula for me, which is even more awesome, AND, AND SHE MADE MY MOST PERFECT SMELL. I Smell Like a Witch is omg perfect. The only thing better is mixing I Smell Like a Witch with Cocoa Pink‘s Fear of Cemeteries. It’s like magic and the most amazing smell EVER. I’m counting the minutes until we get paid so I can order creamy soap and everything possible in I Smell Like a Witch. Seriously, right now, I smell like a witch yo and I like it. Also Becca has black magic soap in jars, and soon she shall have scrubby black magic soap in a jar which I can’t wait to try!
  10. Persephone Minerals – Vic is like the queen of duochrome shadows. She’s got some pretties and holy crap if you haven’t seen her Sailor Senshi collections you must go now and see them, they’re amazing and I need them all. NEED, seriously NEED them. They bring back so many awesome memories of watching Sailor Moon, and YES I do love Sailor Moon, so pffft. Vic has amazing colors and her holiday collections are no disappointment. I’ve been swatching them the past few days and they’re beautiful. All I have left to swatch is the reindeer collection and they’ll all be up for your viewing pleasure.

There are other companies that I love as well like Black Rose Minerals, Venomous Cosmetics, Pollen Cosmetics, and yes even Madd Style Cosmetix(please don’t burn me at the stake). They all have beautiful, amazing, quality shadows and you should check them out. I think next time I’ll do a top 15 or 20 list. xd Some of these companies have been around for awhile, others are brand new, but gosh they’re worth checking out and trying. There are some new companies sprouting up that I’d like to try so maybe next time I decide to make a list I’ll have some new companies up, and well a long list. xd

And now I tag Luna, Amanda, Claire, Mandy, Stephanie, Andrea, Sammi, Angela and Taryn.

Let’s see your favorite top ten! ;)

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Awwwwwyeaaaah. It’s that time again! *squee* If I’ve missed you please email me or leave a comment with your sale details so I can get you added! ^.~

Cocoa Pink
Will have 20-30% off all purchases on Friday, November 18, 2011. The sale will commence at 9am eastern time and will end at midnight on the 18th. You must enter the appropriate coupon code in order to receive your discount. Read more here!
Spend $1 – $50 receive a 20 % must enter code EARLY
Spend $51 – $100 receive a 25 % must enter code BLACK
Spend $101 & above receive a 30 % must enter code FRIDAY

My Pretty Zombie
25% off Friday the 25th through Monday the 28th. Use code black25. Andrea will also be releasing a new collection called The Blue Period. Don’t forget to order MDMA! ;)

Evil Shades Cosmetics
25% off code: PinkFriday (Because..Evil is the new Pink)

Black Rose Minerals
1. You can use coupon code BF2011 for 40% off full size jars only with a purchase of $20 or more. Excludes collections and Your choice. This is only on Black Friday, November 25th, 2011.
2. You can use coupon code BF201130 for 30% off your entire purchase of $20 or more. This will start on the 25th and end on the 28th at midnight PST.
3. You can use coupon code blackfriday for 15% off your entire purchase, with the regular site minimum of $6. Starts the 25th and ends on the 28th at midnight PST.

Persephone Minerals
11/24-11/28 Coupon Code: BFCM2011 gets you 25% off.
Etsy

One Hand Washes the Other
Black Friday weekend – 40% off remaining Halloween stuffs, 25% off the rest of the store, AND- “Choose your own scent” products will be available on Cyber Monday (and only Cyber Monday). There will be various “doorbusters” added, and I am also planning a “Post-BF” sale in case your wallets are stretched too thin during the Black Friday week ;)

Darling Clandestine
30% off everything until 11/21
code- CYBERWEEK

Detrivore Cosmetics
Code: Black Friday
50% off all orders over $20.
Only good November 24-26

innocent+twisted alchemy
Nov 29 (midnight to 11:59pm) 25% off, Coupon code TRAGIC TUESDAY
Storenvy

Morgana Cryptoria
Sale runs late night Nov 24 – Cyber Monday (exact start time to be announced early next week)
Sale is on in-stock items while stock lasts. Discounts are automatic.
50% off lip balms in regular tubes
$2 lip balms in slimline tubes
Quantity discounts on cream lipsticks ranging from $4-$6 off!
Gel Lipsticks $5 (including new & soon to be released shades)
50% off New LE Glosses (large tube)
Various other specials. :)

Linnaeus Cosmetics (11/25-11/28)
All eyeshadows will be $4 (as opposed to the usual $6)
Discounted sample packs will also be available
Customers will also receive a little something for the re-opening come early next year ;)

Pollen Cosmetics
Cyber Monday 11/28
20% off with coupon code CyberMonday
Winter & Holiday Collections Released!

Cult Nails
November 25 – November 28 2011
– ALL Polish Colors $7.75 each
– Nail Treatments $6.00 each ($12 for the pair)
– Glass Nail Files $10.00 each
– ALL Available Collections $31.00

Geek Chic Cosmetics
(11/25-11/28)
Two new collections, plus a lippie
30% off, plus free fullsize prototype/discontinued fullsize on orders over 50 bucks

Hip Apotheca
25th – the 28th
20% off the site and a deluxe body scrub sample from Soap Girl. The coupon code is FF2011.

Darling Girl Cosmetics
20% off everything in the shop! Starts Thursday November, 24th at 6:00pm and ends Friday November 25th at 10:00pm CST. As usual refunds will be done via paypal within 24 hours of your order.

Lost in Makeupland
Already active and ending on December 1st, get a 20% off everything (except 10 sample packs which won’t be available through the sale) usin the code EARLYXMAS.
Black Friday Sale: In adition to the 20% off, you’ll get a special gift with purchase depending on your order’s total, starts on Friday 25th and ends on Sunday 27th:
1. A 5 sample pack from the upcoming Rock My Look v2.0 collection in orders over $10 (shipping not included).
2. A full size eyeshadow jar from the upcoming Rock My Look v2.0 collection in orders over $20 (shipping not included).
3. A full size eyeshadow jar and a 5 sample pack from the upcoming Rock My Look v2.0 collection in orders over $30 (shipping not included).
4. A full size eyeshadow jar and a 5 sample pack from the upcoming Rock My Look v2.0 collection AND a surprise gift in orders over $50 (shipping not included).

BTFE
Grab bags on Black Friday. 40% off on Cyber Monday.

Tick:Tock Cosmetics
From MIDNIGHT TO MIDNIGHT
From the BEGINNING OF BLACK FRIDAY TO THE LAST SECONDS OF CYBER MONDAY!

All FULL SIZE Eye Shadow Pigments will be on sale for $3.50 each!
All SAMPLE SIZE Eye Shadow Pigments will be on sale for $0.50 each!
Our INFINITY EYE SHADOW BASE in both Milky Way and Black Hole will be on sale for $2.75 each!

Holiday Stocking Stuffer Pack for only $10—YOU GET…
**A fabric gift bag filled with…
—3 FULL SIZE Tick:Tock Originals Eye Shadow Pigments in colors of YOUR CHOICE
—1 FULL SIZE of Infinity ESB in Milky Way!!

Mini Stocking Stuffer Pack for only $8—YOU GET…
**A fabric gift bag filled with…
—6 SAMPLE SIZE Tick:Tock Originals Eye Shadow Pigments in colors of YOUR CHOICE
—1 FULL SIZE of Infinity ESB in Milky Way!!

Mega Stocking Stuffer Pack for only $15—YOU GET…
**A fabric gift bag filled with…
—6 SAMPLE SIZE Tick:Tock Originals Eye Shadow Pigments in colors of YOUR CHOICE
—3 FULL SIZE Tick:Tock Originals Eye Shadow Pigments in colors of YOUR CHOICE
—1 FULL SIZE of Infinity ESB in Milky Way!!

RagDollsBeauty
We are having a sale Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
BOGO eyeshadow samples(not including collection colors)
3 for $10 full size eyeshadows(not including collection colors)
3 for $9 full size glitters
20% off all full size collections
50% off all jewelry
Free shipping on all orders $40 or more using code holiday2011freeship
And we will be releasing our Santa Baby collection

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Will edit to add more as I find them so check back! :d

Makeup
Evil Shades Cosmetics
15% off $15 or more, use code EVIL15 .

Linnaeus Cosmetics
SALE! (8/29 – 9/3 at midnight) Buy any four fullsize eyeshadows (individually or in a collection) and receive 1 full size of your choosing free! Please note what free color(s) you would like at checkout via the “Notes to seller” option.

Spellbound Cosmetics
Use the code laborday20 for 20% off all full size jars and samples through Monday at midnight!

Geek Chic Cosmetics
48 hour re-opening sale starting Sunday and ends Tuesday at midnight. Everything is 20% off!

Black Rose Minerals
Coupon code 100orders gets you 30% off Through Sunday.

Concrete Minerals
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday only buy 6 eyeshadows and get 25% off with code CMFALL25.

Bath & Smellies
Steam Bath Factory
Starting now, through midnight on Monday, you get 20% off everything in stock when you enter coupon code LDSALE {short for labor day sale} at ETSY checkout.

Simply Sweet Skin
on Monday 20% off all Fall products – buy a lip scrub and get a matching lip butter free!

FuturePrimitive Soap Co
20% off codes are valid until Sunday night at 9pm GMT. If you reside within the UK/EU, please use code INSIDER. If you live outside of the UK/EU, please use code OUTSIDER.

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My dearest Andrea from My Pretty Zombie is celebrating her company anniversary with an awesome sale for you! With code THIRTYTHREE you get 33% off! Woot! Sale runs from 07/27 through 07/29. You can find my swatches here, here, here, here, here, and here. WTF hehehe Don’t forget to pick up your Husbandry Afflictions trio. ;)

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Keep checking back. Sales will be added as I find them. :d

Black Rose Minerals is having a sale! Get 24% off your entire order of $10 or more with coupon code bonanza! Ends Monday July 4th at midnight PST!

Simply Sweet Skin – 20% of everything from July 1st through July 4th at midnight.

Geek Chic Cosmetics is having a 25% off Anniversary sale until July 13th.

Bokeh Face is offering free domestic and international shipping through July 4th.

B.Koi Cosmetics is having a 4th of July sale now through the 4th. 20% off with promo STARSANDSTRIPES on everything including sale items.

Lucky 107 from fri-mon everything except milf {which is the cotw} is 40% off to celebrate independence day! All orders over $40 {before shipping} get the stars & stripes collection free.

High Voltage Cosmetics 20% off sale for Fourth Of July Weekend? Refunds will be sent same day. There’s no special coupon or code or anything. As soon as the payment clears the refund will be sent!

Meow Cosmetics Save 20% on Rainforest and Carnival collections Now through MONDAY code: CatsLuvFireworks

Madd Style Cosmetics All orders over $15 in the artfire shop will recieve 20% off their ENTIRE order! Even better, you may use this coupon as many times as you like from the 1st through the 4th only! (coupon NOT good for holds/reserves) use code FIREWORKZ

Lux Naturals *4th of July Promo* Monday 7/4/11 Only- Free Watermelon Soap with purchase of $20 or more (not including tax and/or shipping). Just write code WAT711 in the comments section during checkout. Can’t be combined with any other offer. Limit one per household.

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Have a sale? Either leave a comment or email me so I can add it. :d

My Pretty Zombie will be on Heartsy Wednesday June 8th. $6 for $17 store credit! Deal starts at 8 am pacific. Don’t miss it!

BOGO Sale extended at Dark Heart Designs Here’s the details: Any purchase over $4 in the shop will get you a free full size eye shadow! You can get up to 3 free. Just include the color you’d like in the notes to seller. Use this deal at artfire or etsy.

At Lucky 107 every Wednesday EVERYTHING is 25% off.

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